I talked yesterday with Christopher Woods and Miguel Flores. They’re two McKinley residents who are opening a coffee shop next month on the corner of McKinley Ave. and East 34th Street.
Woods moved to Tacoma in February from Seattle, and stopping at a coffee shop was part of his daily routine. (As was reading a newspaper – good idea, Christopher!) Here’s how he describes his thought process of opening the shop.
My routine in Seattle was to walk my dog, stop off at a coffeehouse, read a paper. When I moved here, I couldn’t do that. I’d have to get in my car and drive somewhere for that, and I was frustrated.
Miguel said, ‘Well, why don’t you open up one?’ I said it was just too risky. Just too risky.
As summer wore on, I started to hate my job more. I got really fed up with the job. And then it just hit me – why not open a coffeehouse? And that’s really how it started.
Miguel Flores, the other co-owner, said the influx of new businesses has changed the whole feel of the neighborhood.
It’s changed the whole atmosphere of the neighborhood. There are just different expectations of what it can be, and it’s bringing our neighborhood together. … I bought a house here 2 ½ years ago, and I wanted to get out of here in the first year. There were four homicides that first year. Now, things are so different.
He says he’s not just in it for the money:
A coffeehouse is an investment for me, but it’s also an investment for the community. That’s my No. 1 motivation. Everyone in the community is really cheering us on.